Archive for January, 2011

If you have ever had a baby and not been able to hold it…or worse had to discharge from the hospital, and leave that precious 9-month companion behind in the NICU…well you can relate. Its a horrible feeling.

I had to experience this with my 2nd son when he was born at 35 weeks and had issues breathing. He stayed two weeks in the NICU before finally coming home. I think besides having to leave him there every day, the hardest part was not being able to hold him initially. He was incubated and wasn’t allowed to be held. The day or two before he finally came home was when I finally got to hold him, and it was the greatest joy ever.
With this baby, it will be immediately taken to the NICU…to be started on prostaglandin to keep one valve open that usually closes after birth…and to start getting a echocardiogram (scans of her heart) to see the extent of her CHD. Right now they are pretty positive that she still has Pulmonary Atresia(means the artery that pumps blood to the lungs is either small, non existent, or is made up of several smaller vessels) with VSD (a ventricle septal defect…aka hole in the wall of her ventricle chambers of the heart)
But one small joy I saw a glimmer of today was that unless she needs to be intubated (which my/her doctor anticipates she won’t be) then I should be able to go to the NICU and hold her. I hadn’t anticipated that.
Also there is a great chance I should be able to nurse in those first few days.
And one other thing…
Initially she will be undergoing a procedure called a BT Shunt. Its a closed-heart surgery where they do a temporary fix for her condition and then 3-6 months out they do the full repair open-heart surgery.

BT Shunt (MBTS)

I had thought that she would be in the hospital for awhile…but turns out that “In general, patients can expect to stay anywhere from 3-10 days…” Her doc said most likely a week, to a week and half. It will mostly depend on her feeding…if she’s eating good, she’ll go home fast 🙂


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35 weeks

So with 4 weeks to go we enter the twice weekly monitoring of the baby…on a regular pregnancy this is rarely done…but any highrisk one, mine is highrisk for baby not me, you do. So its lots of doctor visits from now till delivery!
And I still go see my regular ob once a week.

Today’s apt was an ultrasound where they check how she’s doing…she scored high:) She was practicing breathing, had pee in her bladder, etc. And the tech said at one point “She has a full head of hair!” I asked “how can you tell?” She said “I can see it floating in the fluid there”

so now its Mrs. Chubby Cheeks with hair…I wonder what color it is? I bet dark if she is anything like her brothers.

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Miss Chubby Cheeks 🙂

I have a funny story to tell of how this girl almost came early.

I had been doing some cleaning at home and was tired but thought nothing of it.

I then went to get the kids and was dreading it cause snow was suppose to hit Nashville at the same time as school got out. I got my two that got out at 3 and already the streets were bustling even though it had only started to snow slightly.
We then went straight to my other son’s school who wasn’t scheduled to get out till 5 that day but I was going early because I had a feeling the traffic and weather were taking a turn for the nasty. As we got closer to the exit for his school we saw traffic getting more and more and a few cars with snow on them…they were coming into Nashville from the north. And as we got off the interstate and by my son’s school we began to see rooftops covered in a thin layer of snow, but the streets were still just wet. I called his school and the receptionist told me,”Come on and pick him up Honey”.
When we got there a line of cars had already started to form and soon a teacher came out and began asking who people were picking up. We waited like 20 mins for my son to finally come out, ends up they had decided to dismiss early anyways, in that time it went from a few flakes to a curtain fall of snow. I just wanted to get home asap cause we were probably going to get stuck in traffic.
As we started home, traffic was already crawling! As we inched along my stomach began having cramps. They were coming inconsistently and were like bad period cramps. I called my bestfriend and told her what was happening and that I was stuck in traffic. “You are kidding me,” she said. Nope. Here I was stuck in traffic having what felt very much like the onset of labor.
Coming up was a split, I would have to choose the interstate that got off right by my house or the other one that went south but had an exit that was also close and usually that interstate was faster during busy times of the day. I chose the later and luckily the roadway was less busy and we made good time. All this time I was still having cramps coming and going but not that close or intense yet.
As we got off the interstate it was again busy. I figured cause this road that lead almost straight to my house was a main road. We again were crawling in traffic. I just wanted to get home. Maybe if I rested and drank water I would feel better.
Finally 2 hours after going to pick up my kids from school we arrived home. I told the boys to go upstairs and chill and let me rest for awhile. I laid down and was still having cramps but after awhile they seemed to ease up. I was hungry so I got some food and laid back down to watch a movie.
After awhile the cramps returned though and I was uncomfortable again. I tried to ignore it, but at one point I began to laugh at something and that turned into coughing which turned into a gush of fluid as I sat up. I thought of great I just pee’d on myself! But as I looked at my pants it didn’t smell like pee (yes I was smelled it LOL) and seemed like too much fluid. I went to the bathroom and more fluid came out. It was clear like water, not even a hint of yellow like pee normally does.
I told Meran that because of what just happened and the cramps I was having I wanted to get checked out in case my water had broke. He was hesitant cause the roads were icy but agreed.
We went to the Vanderbilt Labor and Delivery Triage and got me checked out. They observed the baby, my contractions, and tested the fluid. All three of the tests for the fluid came back negative. And although a few contractions came, they were small and not consistent. I was also dialated 1 cm but the baby was high still.

So at the end of the day they said I was considered “preterm labor” and decided to discharge me with orders to take it easy.

So far now, my little princess is still safe in my tummy, and almost made an early entrance but then decided she liked it better in mommy’s tummy:)

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October 2010...19 week Ultrasound

With my previous pregnancies, I barely remember the ultrasound, they were so uneventful and so long ago.  Only with my 2nd son, who had low amniotic fluid and had to have regular ultrasounds and eventually an early induction at 35 weeks, was there even a little hint of something to worry about.

I went into this ultrasound, for my 5th baby, without a worry in the world.  I came out of it with joy and fear all in one.

I remember the night before telling my husband that I was extremely nervous for some reason, and couldn’t place it.  I wrote it off to the anticipation of would this finally be my girl, after 4 boys, mostly expecting to hear, “Its another boy!”

But that morning as I went to my apt, that nervous feeling lingered.

In the ultrasound, at first was pretty routine.  And eventually the tech lady got around to asking me if I wanted to know the sex or not.  I nodded my head yes, expecting nothing other than a boy.  And to my shock heard her say “Its a girl!”

I said “Are you sure?”   And as she nodded yes with a chuckle, I began to cry.  I couldn’t help it.

I wouldn’t trade my 4 boys for the world.  I am a firm believer in that God knows better than me what I need, but in that moment I felt truly blessed to finally be having a girl.  And looking back I am glad she came after all my boys 🙂

Afterwards the technician moved on to other areas of the baby to scan.  After some time I noticed she was taking a long time on the heart and my ultrasound was taking a lot longer than normal.  She then told me that my baby may have some issues but she wanted the Ultrasound doc to come check to be sure.  The doctor came in to look and do several scans.  This is when the feeling of joy turned into a knotting feeling in the pit of my stomach and my nervousness returned.  She proceeded to tell me that most likely my baby had some sort of heart issue.  She wanted me to immediately come upstairs for another ultrasound with a more precise machine.  I did and when I got up there she brought with her some of her associates.  Multiple docs consulting and mumbling as they scan you is never a good sign!

After several more scans they tell me that the baby now definitely has issues but they can’t be sure which.  That doctor tells me to follow her to her office and she will tell me more information.  She said that initially looks like my baby has a Congenital heart defect or CHD, known as Truncus.  She explained more about it and told me that I would need to see a pediatric cardiologist soon for an echo cardiogram, a special heart ultrasound used to treat and diagnose CHD’s.  She makes a call and refers me to Vanderbilt for an apointment and then I go downstairs to my regular prenatal appointment.

As I wait to be called I call my best friend, but words barely come as i tell her news of my ultrasound, I am choked with tears of fear at the unknown, but comforted by my friend’s voice even though she is miles away in another state.

When I am finally taken back to a room, my doc comes in and turns around.   She tells me that I will now have to deliver at Vanderbilt.  I have a choice to stay with her for the rest of my pregnancy or to transfer to someone else at Vanderbilt.   I chose to stay with her.  Too many other things are not in my control at this point.  At least I can stay with my doctor who I am comfortable with.

As I leave the office and go to my car, I make a call to my grandmother, who has been waiting all morning in anticipation.

I tell her its a girl and she is so happy to hear that finally I got my girl.  But as we talk I can’t hide my emotions, I rarely can when talking to anyone who knows me that well, I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

And at one point my voice begins to shake, and my grandma, with an equally trembling voice asks, “What’s the matter, Honey?”

And then I let it all out and thru tears tell her what the doctors told me.

Later I tell my husband our news, a girl!  And how our girl, already special after 4 brothers, was going to be even more special due to her issues.  He doesn’t worry and is strong when I need someone else to be strong for me.

Afterwards,I had to wait two of the longest weeks of my life for my pediatric cardiologist appointment to confirm that she did indeed have a congenital heart defect.







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